What are my rights if I had my vehicle shipped and it was damaged by the carrier?

I have both bills of lading (which,as I understand, are legal documents) proving the damage happened in transit. The broker I used states the carrier (not the carrier’s insurance company) is denying my claim. Neither the broker nor the carrier will provide me with the carrier’s insurance information for me to submit my claim. How do I obtain the carrier’s insurance information to submit a claim? For future reference, if the insurance company denies my claim, is it worth pursuing the claim with a lawyer (meaning, will my lawyer fees, damages and time lost pursuing settlement be covered by the settlement, if the judgement is in my favor)?

Asked on June 4, 2014 under Business Law, Ohio


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

You can't obtain the carrier's insurance information if they refuse to give it to you. What you can do is to sue the carrier; once they have been sued, they will presumbably bring their insurer into the matter. Even if they don't, you can--assuming you can prove they damaged the car--recover money from them. As to whether it's worthwhile: if the car damage exceeds $5,000, it's probably worth pursuing and hiring an attorneyh to help you; if the damage is less than $5,000, it would be worth pursuing only if you are willing to act as  your own attorney.

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